Halloween put on its mask before the back-to-school aisles were empty this year, but theres so much more to do in October.
By JENEÉ OSTERHELDT
The Kansas City Star
Im talking Afrolicious at the Record Bar (Oct. 21) and a new candy store, Itsugar, opening on the Plaza. And tonight the TV gladiators smile on us with the Season 3 premiere of Scandal. Then theres Ailey II at the Folly Oct. 10-12. And Allegiant, the final book in the Divergent trilogy, drops in a few weeks. Nope, you dont need to smash pumpkins in your free time. October is bustling with things to do.
Here are a few more things to pack your calendar:
Last Poet Standing
Raenaldo Torres hosts the smackdown of a poetry competition Friday at the Westport Coffeehouse, 4010 Pennsylvania Ave. Its not your typical slam. The names of 10 poets are in a bucket. The poet whose name is drawn calls out another poet for a challenge. With a $500 cash prize at stake, each performance gets a little over three minutes. Cheering and booing are allowed. And the featured poet is Kansas Citys own Natasha Ria El-Scari. Things get started at 8 p.m. $10 cover.
Día de los Muertos
The Mattie Rhodes Center Art Gallery (915 W. 17th St.) 15th annual Day of the Dead celebration starts Friday from 6 to 10 p.m., and the featured artist is none other than Donald Scribe Ross. I cant wait to see his bold and bright bees and rhinos done over darkly. Come Saturday, Mattie Rhodes will put on a Street Festival from 1 to 10 p.m. Prepare to be inspired by art, live entertainment and a creative atmosphere. mattierhodes.org
Party in Pink
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is in full swing and dance thanks to Zumba Fitness. There are dozens of Party in Pink Zumbathons all month long to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Donating can be a fun, booty-shaking workout, like the one Lori Blessing will teach from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at Overland Park Super Sport, 12075 Metcalf Ave. Find a class ($10-$15) near you at zumba.com.
Hamburger Marys, 101 Southwest Blvd., isnt just all big burgers and bigger personalities. They also put on big bingo nights were talking $10 for 10 bingo cards and all kinds of fabulous. Whats better than that? They have charity bingo nights throughout the month, like the MoKan Boxer Rescue night from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 12. And at the end of the month, at 8 p.m. Oct. 30, the restaurant will support Planned Parenthood. Be sure to visit hamburgermarys.com to check out all of the charity nights.
The Hot 103 Jamz Music Conference
If youre dreaming of a career in music, this might be the conference for you. One day only, Oct. 19 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Voodoo Lounge (One Riverboat Drive), industry heavyweights will share their insight on how to make it everyone from Kansas Citys own success stories such as Strange Musics Travis OGuinn and songwriter and producer Brian Kennedy to BMIs Byron Wright and Sony Musics Cynthia Johnson. Tickets are $50-$75 and can be purchased at 103musicconference.com
You cant have an October to-do list without a big Halloween bash. If youre going to go costume crazy and party like a rock star, naturally the producers of Dancefestopia and NYE at the Temple have Halloween covered. And for the whole weekend. On Nov. 1 and 2 the Firefly Lounge, 4118 Pennsylvania, will house a haunted dance floor. Tickets are just $5. 21+ kchalloween.com